COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — The Columbus Lions partnered with organizations across the Fountain City to collect items for students in need as they prepare to head back to school.

The National Retail Federation says on average, a single household is spending over $800 as they prepare to send their kids back to school.

With inflation rates rising, the Columbus Lions and the local nonprofit, Columbus Jaycees, are helping those in need. 

Our community needs it. There’s inflation going on with everything, the costs are so high. We just want to kind of help the parents out to where they don’t have to worry about the supply side.

Brittany Brown, Columbus Jaycees President.

The free event brought the community together with food trucks, bounce houses and games.

The Columbus Lions are in their off season. They are using this time to give back to the community that supports them all season long.

Well, we always see that because it’s like as they get older, they’ll understand giving back, like where you came from. I grew up here and it’s all about giving back. It’s best to give than to receive. And when I see all these kids out here having fun and a smile on their face, I feel like we did our job.

Kyle Griswould, Columbus Lions Defensive Back

We are primarily rostered with local guys, so we try to be community related in that way anyways. But also we just don’t want to be in our office during the offseason. We want to kind of give back to the community a little bit and let people know that we’re here.

Lee Snow, Columbus Lions General Manager

Blue buckets were filled with composition notebooks and folders as the festivities went on. The back to school kickoff will supply students with all of the essentials at Fort Moore Schools.

Columbus Jaycees is still accepting school supply donations that can be dropped off at the D.A. Turner Branch YMCA and the John P. Thayer YMCA.